Different chambers and business associations in Bangladesh have demanded that the government lower corporate income tax, raise tax-free income limit and withdraw advance income tax in the national budget for the financial year of 2018-19.
The trade bodies also made a number of other demands, eyeing the budget.
Finance minister AMA Muhith will place the budget before Jatiya Sangsad today.
Most of the chambers and associations also demanded withdrawal of multilayer taxation on dividend income and value-added tax on trade licence and import and export permits.
The businesses who are engaged in manufacturing demanded some benefits including imposition of supplementary duty on imported finished goods for the protection of local industries.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry demanded a reduction in corporate income tax rate by 2.5 percentage points in the budget from the current rate of 25 per cent and 35 per cent respectively for publicly-listed companies and non-listed companies.
It also proposed that tax-free income limit for individual taxpayers should be increased to Tk 3.5 lakh from the current Tk 2.5 lakh considering the cost of living and inflation.
The apex trade body recommended forming two joint committees — one to check misdeclaration including under-invoicing by businesses and another to finalise the proposed VAT rules.
Echoing the FBCCI demands, the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry demanded an increase in tax-free income level, reduction of corporate tax and surcharge on net wealth and withdrawal of multiple levels of tax on dividend.
The chamber recommended tax exemption for five years on the income of non-resident Bangladeshi professionals to encourage them to return home.
The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry sought a strong policy package for industrial and agricultural infrastructure, lowering the highest slab of individual income tax rate and special attention to the banking sector management in the next budget.
The Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry demanded lowering corporate income tax rate by 5 percentage points and freezing of the rate for at least three years.
It also proposed introduction of the progressive provisions of the suspended value-added tax act 2012, including simplification of VAT registration, withdrawal of price declaration and removal of supplementary duty on locally manufactured goods in the VAT Act 1991.
The chamber also recommended increasing the limit of net assets to Tk 5 crore from existing Tk 2.5 crore for imposition of wealth surcharge.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association recommended reducing corporate tax to 10 per cent and withdrawal of source tax for all export-oriented sectors irrespective of their export volume.
The Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association proposed reducing source tax to 0.50 per cent from the existing 0.70 per cent.
The Bangladesh Textile Mills Association demanded reinstating a previous provision so that its member factories can import and release spare parts by showing certificates issued by the association.
The BTMA also sought withdrawal of duty on flakes fabrics.
The Leathergoods and Footwear Manufactures and Exporters Association of Bangladesh demanded duty-free import of electrical equipment and tax holiday for the next five years for the sector.
The Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association demanded same fiscal benefits for plastic goods sector like the readymade garment sector enjoys.
It demanded corporate tax at 12 per cent and reducing the source tax to 0.50 per cent.
The Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association sought cash incentive for exporting live crabs.
The Bangladesh Tea Association recommended that the government control tea import and continue the minimum tariff at $2.50 for a kilogram of tea import.
The Bangladesh Terry Towel and Linen Manufacturers and Exporters Association demanded reducing income tax to 10 per cent from the existing 15 per cent and source tax to 0.50 per cent from 0.70 per cent for the next five years.
The Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh demanded that the government form a Tk 20,000-Tk 50,000 crore housing loan refinancing fund.
It also demanded reinstatement of the provision of legalising undisclosed money for up to 10 years for the real estate sector considering its current situation and to prevent money laundering.
The Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh demanded removal of ‘discrimination’ in corporate tax rates among different sectors and exemption of VAT on internet services.
The Dhaka and Chittagong bourses demanded that the government allow them to invest in the national savings certificates.
The Dhaka Stock Exchange also sought tax exemption on its member-shareholders’ capital gains from share sales.
It also demanded a three-year exemption from tax for the newly listed companies and cut in corporate tax for the listed companies to 15 per cent from the existing 25 per cent.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Tax